Burroughs Coach Gus Frerotte has spent two Thanksgiving holidays in a row at the Show-Me Bowl football championships. He was there as a new assistant to Todd Small, and then head coach last year. Both times the Bombers got the bridesmaid prize.
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Frerotte has every intention of making the trek to the Edward Jones for the third-consecutive year. He warned his team about Maplewood, moments after they put the wraps on a 56-0 win over visiting Clayton Saturday.
“Maplewood is good. They have a great quarterback (Kahlid Hagens), he’s a load,” said the Burroughs skipper. “We’ll watch some film and get ready for them.”
Frankly Bomber players are giddy about going to Maplewood Friday night. After all the Bombers are 7-0, ranked atop the charts in Class 3 throughout the state. The game will be on local television and the team relishes performing on the big stage.
Everyone knows, the Burroughs prime back Ezekiel Elliott has a bullseye painted on his back. Blue Devil defenders might start following him the moment he exits the bus.
Elliott has proved to be both smart and durable in 2012. He’s scored 28 times-70 times the past two years. Its not that defenders haven’t tried. He’s danced and pranced his way into enemy end zones, sometimes when it appears effortlessly.
But there’s more to the Bombers then just No. 2, Zeke.
Newcomer, Springfield, MO Catholic transfer Nick Duncan has fit in nicely. He’s a 65 percent passer with 663 yards and 8 TDs. Outstanding receiver Foye Oluokun is still looking for a big breakout game. Sub QB Tre Moore is itching to take over the starting role.
If the Bombers are iffy, it would be on their offensive line. Jimmy Fort, tackle and Griff Palan, center are both hurt and their status is unknown for Friday. Fort was sporting a walking boot Saturday.
The strength of the Bombers is with their smash mouth, in your face defense. Christian and Xavier Bledsoe and Solo Ceesay will hunt backs down sideline to sideline and Trevor Bain will clean them up.
Do comparative scores mean a thing? The only common opponent this year is MICDS. Maplewood opened with a 35-19 win. Burroughs put the Rams away, 55-7.
Maplewood is the host team
That’s worth something. Rick Nixon has them organized and firing on all cylinders. Their only blemish was a 7-0 loss early in the season to Park Hills Central.
Quarterback Kahlid Hagens is big and strong and accurate. He has passed for 60 percent--1,360 yards and 14 TDs with just 3 picks and leads the Devils in rushing, 740 yards.
Cortland Brooks, rangy receiver can go and get it. He has 20 catches for 478 yards and 4 TDs.
Both teams want to set the stage for district playoffs next. A loss will not end the season for either team.
The difference makers
Burroughs unheralded defense is solid from front line to backs. They make scant few mistakes. They tackle with abandon. Rushil Sheth is deadly accurate with extra points and good on field goals if needed.
Prediction: Burroughs by 7 or less.